As I looked at my phone to see calendar reminders for the day, I also saw the reminders for tomorrow. March 7 “meeting at 1pm and Elton John concert 8pm”. I have known the date was coming. I even thought I was prepared. When I bought the Elton John tickets I knew the concert was March 7. I was so excited to be taking my 14-year-old grandson to hear one of the legends of music. Jan loved music as much as I did. What a great way to feel close to her again.
I did so well last year; some tears, some remembering, some joy in celebrating her life. I was so proud of my new, ever so grown up, spiritual way of looking at death and loss. I was doing so well with everything in life that I no longer needed to see my therapist. We did good work together. After Jan F. died I knew (because everyone told me) I needed help. It was one more time when God directed my steps and lead me to Rhonda. During my two years with her my Mother died, my “other” Mother died, I had a major change in my position at work, health issues, and more.
But as I saw the date on my calendar this morning everything changed. I felt such anger. “Come on–it is only a date on the calendar. Nothing has changed”, I told my self. I took a deep breath and finished getting dressed. I yelled at the dog for getting under foot. I grabbed my briefcase and rushed out the door.
I turned up the music in the car to drown out my thoughts. Someone pulled out in front of me. I screamed, “What is wrong with you? Are you a friggin’ idiot?” Of course they couldn’t hear me..thank goodness. The radio was still blaring and these words caught my ear:
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of greater thirst that a world can’t satisfy?
And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights;
Are Your mercies in disguise? (LYRICS BY LAURA STORY)
“Really? You want me to believe all the pain and heartache we experience is just so we can feel close to you, God? Is this suppose to make me feel all warm and fuzzy? How about a miracle when Jan F. was waiting for the ambulance to arrive after her massive heart attack? Much easier than parting the Red Sea, don’t you think?”
I walked into my office and shut my door. I told the staff I needed to finish a report. I sat there fighting the anger and tears. I told God I was sorry for being so difficult. I really needed some help because I have work to do. I can’t hide in here all day. Just something..anything..please.
A Facebook notification popped up. As I opened Facebook, a previous post caught my eye. My friend’s mother in law passed away on Monday. She shared a conversation she had with her 3-year-old Lydia. I hope she doesn’t mind that I share this with you here.
“Gary and his Dad are still at the hospital making sure Gary’s Mum is comfortable. I came home to put Lydia to bed. I talked to Lydia earlier today about what was happening to Grandma. So when we got home, I asked Lydia if she knew what was happening to Grandma and she said she was dying. Then we talked about different sicknesses. Then Lydia said that Grandma would be dancing and happy. I asked her how she knew that and Lydia said, because she likes to dance! Do you think kids have special conversations with the dying and dead?! It was probably a flukey 3-year old thing to say, but you never know!”
I quietly slipped outside and took a short walk around downtown Summerville. Gentle tears came as I walked…and then a smile. Jan loved music so much. I felt her presence. I felt her singing and dancing. I heard her say, “It’s only a day the calendar.”